I have not been able to keep it together today.
I choked down the lump in my throat as I roamed the isles of the grocery store, managing an occasional smile at my little helper as she tossed stuff haphazardly into the cart. Cheetos, Pringles, and anything else about three feet off the ground. On the drive back to preschool, I wiped away tears.
Walking into the building, I hung my head. I didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone, for fear that if I did, the puddles still lingering would spill over. I spoke through a shaky voice on the way home, trying to encourage him to share about his day but thankful when the conversation stopped and my lip could just tremble in peace.
“Why in God’s holy name are we born into North American ease?
Why aren’t my kids being gunned down and shot in the bloody streets? Why do we get to go through our days with no one hunting us down to put bullets through our backs or hack off all our rolling heads?
Why in God’s name do we get to be safe…. and they get to be killed, raped, displaced, destroyed?”
And I can’t get her words out of my head. Ann Voskamp wrote about the reality of the ISIS crisis in Iraq, and it has torn my heart apart.
How can a world like this exist today?
How can a world like this exist and the rest of the world is so unaware? Or worse, too busy or self-absorbed to care??
Suffering has become way too easy to ignore. And it’s almost become acceptable, because in a lot of instances, what can we really do from halfway around the world?
I was plagued for years with the recurrent nightmare of being stuck in a van sinking in water with my four very young children inside. The horror of the situation was palpable, and even now I can feel my chest tighten. The anguish of choosing which ones to save, if I could save any of them at all.
How would I unbuckle all those car seats in time? Which ones would I put in what arms? What if they couldn’t swim? What if I couldn’t get out and water continued to rush in, the van sinking into oblivion—what would I say to them to pacify the utter terror in their eyes? Would I hold them in my arms as they drown, until their thrashing bodies finally succumbed to the water’s ever-tightening grip of death?
It’s horrendous…unimaginable. And yet, there are women currently living it. Only, as desperately as I imagined getting my children out of the vehicle, they are trying to get all of theirs in. And they weren’t able to. They had to choose which ones to leave behind.
And, Church, as I sit here typing this with tears streaming down my face, I implore you to do something to help these women who have lived through any mother’s worst nightmare. Women who have seen the men they love gunned down in front of them. Women who have lost their 9-year-old daughters to ISIS fighters to be used for whatever they wish and then discarded as trash. Women who, as they fled for their lives into foreign land, have had to bury other children for lack of water and food.
When will it stop?
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
We can look at their faces and learn their names and listen to their heartache, loss and stories as if they matter—because they do. We may not live in a land filled with terror and persecution, but we can certainly share in theirs. We can mourn with those who mourn and meet Jesus there with them. We can cry out to Him on their behalf, and He will hear us.
These women and children are drowning, but together we can throw them a floatation device. We can use the luxury of this American life we’ve been blessed with and do something to help them, even just a little, and right now. With as little as $25 (or less), we can change lives with an organization that can be the hands and feet and conduit of hope on the ground that these displaced and suffering people desperately need.